Sunday, 31 May 2015

Much Ado About Mothing

Although todays gloomy weather could make you believe otherwise, it is almost summer.  And with the season fast approaching it's been time once again to brush the dust off the macro lens and head out looking for moths. Oh, ahum, and butterflies too.  The annual summer transition from Ornithology to Lepidoptera has begun.  And I must say, it's been a rather good start.
 A 6:40am walk up to Hollingbury Golf-course (or rather the fields and woods around it) on the 25th for a couple of hours, transpired into over five hours.  Of course, it was on one of the few occasions I had neglected to have breakfast before leaving. And no, I didn't get lost, I just got a little bit carried away looking for moths...
 The morning started off with a stunning Alabonia Geofrella, and as it started to warm up, one of the hedgerows held a Green Long-Horn, Elachista Atricomella,  Red-twin Spot Carpet and a few hundred Cocksfoot moths.  And in the grass along the edge, a pair of Aspilapteryx Tringipennella (Yes, I wish that name was simpler too) and a Small Yellow-Underwing.
 I began to slowly make my way home, heading through a patch of woods where I found a lovely Pammene Regiana.
While walking through the main field, an interesting looking orange micro moth flew over the path in front of me and landed briefly, I grabbed a few record shots before it flew off and I was distracted by a Mother Shipton.  That little orange micro turned out to be the nationally scarce Orange Conch! A very unexpected find.

 Hoping to re-find the Orange Conch, I headed back for an hour or so in the afternoon the next day, and although I was unsuccessful in that endeavour I did find a Downland Conch, close enough for me!

After two great days mothing in Sussex, on the 28th we decided to see what we could find at Wanstead.  It was quite slow going to begin with, but we did eventually get Firethorn Leaf-miner, Pseudargyrotoza Conwagana, Dichrorampha plumbagana, Homoeosoma sinuella (If you properly read all those names you deserve a medal), and best of all a Eucosma metzneriana! A recent colonist of the UK, the first record for Britain was only in 1977.  I'm not quite sure what its status is in Wanstead.
So yes, I feel that's a decent start...

Thanks to everyone who's helped with ID's!

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